Spring training has begun for the 2020 MLB season, and this time, it has a unique feel in the Hawkeye State. Astros prop bets are part of that different landscape.
PointsBet and William Hill are among the Iowa sportsbooks offering some unique lines for Houston games during the upcoming season. The action is a result of the franchise’s cheating scandal that surfaced during the offseason.
Astros prop bets and futures at PointsBet Iowa
Among myriad futures on things like who will win each MLB division and the World Series in 2020, these two sportsbooks offer something unique this year. At PointsBet, the category is called “Houston Astros Trash Can Boosters.”
The name refers to the Astros’ banging on trash cans to relay opponents’ pitch selection to batters. Houston’s use of cameras to steal opponents’ signs during the 2017 season is against league rules and earned the team several punishments from MLB this offseason.
PointsBet offers several odds boost markets within this category. Those include a win total for the Astros.
The sportsbook set the cap for this market at 90 wins. The line on Houston going under that total currently sits at +230, boosted from +200.
If another American League West team has a great season, the Astros may not win that division even if they reach 90 victories. For that market, PointsBet’s line is +210 right now, boosted from +190. The bet would pay off if any other team wins the division.
If the 2020 World Series becomes a rematch of the 2017 Fall Classic, featuring Houston against the Los Angeles Dodgers, that bet would pay +1600 to those who take it now. That line is boosted from +1400 in this promotion.
That rivalry already has seen some drama, however. That’s the subject of another segment of this category.
Altuve vs. Judge and Bellinger vs. Correa at PointsBet
The Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger accused the Astros’ Jose Altuve of stealing the 2017 AL MVP from the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge.
Because of that, Houston’s Carlos Correa responded indirectly to Bellinger through the media. Correa disputed Bellinger’s argument in his comments.
Playing off that, PointsBet has a market for which of those two players will post a higher batting average and RBI total. The action is on Bellinger in both markets.
If Bellinger’s average tops Correa’s, the boost takes that line from -500 to -400. On the RBI market, the sportsbook boosted the line from -155 to -135.
A final prop involves Altuve and Judge. If Judge hits more home runs this coming season than Altuve, bettors will enjoy a +350 payout, up from +300.
While PointsBet offers more variety in these specials, William Hill does offer a different take. Because of that, bettors may find that market more suitable to their tastes.
William Hill’s action on players exacting revenge
William Hill ramps up the drama for the coming season by featuring a market on how many times opposing pitchers will plunk Astros batters this season. That market is hard to predict right now.
That’s because MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has said that he plans to stay on top of how often this happens. The penalties for hitting Houston players in the batter’s box could be heavier than for hitting batters on other teams.
It’s uncertain whether that will actually be sufficient to discourage the behavior, however. Some pitchers may consider any penalty worth the opportunity to send a message regardless.
That’s why the lines on the over and the under for this market are currently the same at -110. That over/under sits at 81, or essentially once for every road game on the Astros’ 2020 schedule.
The under looks better than the over right now. Additionally, that Houston-Los Angeles World Series matchup line is attractive.
Regardless of how a bettor may feel about the Astros’ actions, these bets boast some great boosts. Opportunities such as these are pretty rare.